The Wallet app on the iPhone may one day be able to tell if you need to use a credit card or reward card (if the data is saved in the app) based on where you are at at the time.
For example, if you’re purchasing something at an Apple retail store, the smartphone would detect your location and Wallet would open Apple Pay. If you have a Starbucks rewards card and are at a Starbucks, it would detect your location and open the company’s reward card.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that electronic devices can include wireless capabilities to perform a variety of tasks such as wirelessly unlocking/locking a computer (or other device), wirelessly interacting with a television or other media device, and/or wirelessly conducting transactions.
With respect to transactions, the wirelessly-enabled electronic device can store credentials corresponding to, for example, transit passes, identification, and credit/debit cards compatible with different payment types. For example, using a wireless communication protocol such as a near field communication (NFC) protocol, the electronic device can conduct a transaction with a nearby reader terminal using a stored credential that is compatible with the terminal.
Here’s the summary of the patent (number 10,972,911) for a “location-based credential selection for wireless transactions: “The present disclosure includes an electronic device for selecting a credential based at least in part on location information. The electronic device can include a secure transaction subsystem and a processor. The secure transaction subsystem can be configured to store a plurality of credentials. The processor can be communicatively coupled to the secure transaction subsystem and configured to receive the location information from one or more radios.
“Further, the processor can be configured to determine that a distance between the electronic device and a terminal is less than a predetermined distance based on the location information. In response to determining the distance between the electronic device and the terminal is less than the predetermined distance, the processor can be configured to select the credential from the plurality of credentials based at least in part on the type of terminal.”